First Late Triassic palynological assemblage reported from Nanjing area.
Palynological composition of Fanjiatang Formation indicates a Norian-Rhaetian age.
Paleovegetation was reconstructed combing palynofloral and macrofloral data.
Palynological composition suggests a tropical to subtropical warm and humid climate.
The end-Triassic is characterized by a significant biotic crisis in both marine and terrestrial realms. However, terrestrial records in eastern Tethys are relatively limited, especially in eastern China. The Fanjiatang Formation represents the Upper Triassic sequence in southern Jiangsu and Anhui provinces of eastern China, yielding a rich plant and bivalve fossil record. The present study provides the first detailed palynological investigation for the Upper Triassic of Nanjing area, eastern China. Six of twenty processed palynological samples are productive, and more than 70 terrestrial spore and pollen fossil taxa were identified. A palynological assemblage, namely, the Concavisporites–Dictyophyllidites–Kyrtomisporis–Classopollis Assemblage was established, characterized by abundant fern spores, mainly including Concavisporites, Dictyophyllidites and Kyrtomisporis, and much less abundant gymnosperm pollen grains (important taxa include Alisporites, Chasmatosporites, and Classopollis), indicating a Late Triassic Norian–Rhaetian age. In conjunction with previously reported macro-plant data, the palynofloral analysis reveals a vegetation dominated by ferns, with diverse cycadophytes, less abundant lycophytes, bryophytes, equisetales, ginkgophytes and seed ferns, and a few conifers. Paleovegetation and semiquantitative palynological analysis permit a paleoecological interpretation, suggesting a lowland groundcover-dominated vegetation under (sub)tropical warm and humid climate in Nanjing area during this time interval. More detailed palynological and macro-plant data through the whole Upper Triassic in this region are necessary in the future to better reveal the Late Triassic paleoecological settings and variations on land prior to the end-Triassic mass extinction in eastern Tethys.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Fanjiatang formation, Late Triassic, Palynology, Paleobotany, Paleoclimate
| Corresponding editor: Evelyn Kustatscher.